How Develop built an ‘artificial street’ to revolutionise facilities management training

   24 June 2023         Blogs

Training is only as good as its ability to be applied. As a training provider responsible for training the staff behind some of this country’s most vital infrastructure, from the gas networks that fuel our homes, to the roads we travel on, Develop continues to lead the way in providing innovative and high quality standards of training.

And recently, following an investment of over £500,000 on Training Terrace, and a further £500,000 on the main centre refurbishment, Develop has constructed a training facility that presents obstacles and challenges like those found on real-life commercial and domestic sites. Running alongside its newly upgraded York training centre, Develop’s training delivery in the northern region of this country has never looked better, and its place as a training innovator has never been so certain.

Fully to-scale artificial street for utilities training

The fully to-scale artificial street, known as Training Terrace, consists of three purpose-built houses, apartments, a café, a deep excavation pit and a confined spaces area. As quaint as a life would be on Training Terrace, behind each of these operations are meticulously designed facilities built to train delegates in emergency response to gas incidents, excavation safety, cable avoidance, sewer jetting and confined spaces entry.

Training Terrace first began as a project only known as the JETSET street (Joint Emergency Training Set), which became a reality through funding from Develop and its parent company, JTL.

The site chosen as the home for this project was Develop’s York training centre, which has long functioned as a foundational training facility for the varying requirements of industry in North Yorkshire. In particular, Develop has had a longstanding relationship with the region thanks to its strong relationship with Northern Gas Networks.

Public competition to name the street

Along with the first announcement of the project in January, Develop launched an exciting public competition to officially name the street, which received over 150 entries. In order to decide which name would be immortalised in the street’s signage, a judging panel made up of senior members of staff from across the JTL Group shortlisted 10 names before finally noting a consensus favourite – Training Terrace, suggested by Shaun Gavin and Lindsay Talks.

The grand unveiling

The grand opening of Training Terrace took place on 24th May alongside the reopening of Develop’s York centre, which was itself updated to include new classrooms, an alternative energies training area, two HV (High Voltage) workshops and a LV (Low Voltage) workshop.

John Kerr, Managing Director at Develop, said: ‘This new state of the art facility will give us a fantastic base to deliver essential and enhanced training to businesses in North Yorkshire and beyond. We’re thrilled to unveil a centre that will work in tandem with Training Terrace, as this new street provides an innovative facility that we’re proud to operate from.”

The new provisions at this Huby-based centre means that Develop can now provide higher quality training in confined spaces, HV & LV, gas distribution, health and safety, healthcare estates, water systems and alternative energies offering businesses in the region a state of the art facility to train their workforce.

The overall improvement to the York centre – and the inclusion of Training Terrace – was something that the team at gas network operator, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), were thrilled to work in partnership with Develop on.

A significant improvement to training facilities

Paul Tate, Lead Emergency Trainer at Northern Gas Networks, said: “The facilities including the new JETSET will significantly improve the training opportunities for the whole team at Northern Gas Networks and provide real-life scenarios. It’s been a long-term project and it’s fantastic to see it come to life and now be used to enhance the training and development opportunities for not just Northern Gas but the sector as a whole.”

Delivered in partnership with Northern Gas Networks

Develop has a longstanding relationship with NGN having worked with the Gas Distribution Network for a number of years across a variety of projects. Through this partnership Develop and NGN have worked to identify the training needs and wants for those currently working in the industry as well as looking ahead to the requirements of the future generation.

The reopening event was attended by Chris Adair, Training and Apprenticeships Manager at Northern Gas Networks, alongside other key industry figures from the North Yorkshire region.

New training facilities for the North Yorkshire region

The new facilities have also proved successful with North Yorkshire Council Divisional Councillor for Huby, Malcolm Taylor, who welcomed the positive effects that it will have on the local economy. He said: “It’s fantastic to see this investment in the Huby area, and I believe this centre will be invaluable for training businesses and delegates in the region.

“The unique facilities that Training Terrace is able to offer will be an exciting, unique addition to the landscape of industry available here, and I look forward to seeing the new wave of professionals being produced in our area.”

The opening ceremony itself saw a day of networking, tours and panel discussions, as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony, which was marked by John Kerr and JTL Training’s CEO, Chris Claydon.

Positive feedback from first intake of delegates

In June, Training Terrace welcomed its first intake of delegates who were undertaking NCO Gas Level 2 Escape, Locate & Repair training. Feedback from those involved was extremely positive with one delegate commenting that the site was “well thought-out with realistic interiors” and another stating that “Training Terrace makes the scenarios more realistic and familiar.”

And that’s just what Develop aims to do – offer cutting-edge training to delegates at the highest standard. Whether that be at Training Terrace, in the classroom, virtually or via Develop’s brand new e-learning platform, LEDA, which offers a suite of accredited e-learning courses specifically designed to supplement its practical training offering.

For more information about Training Terrace and the courses available at the facility please visit: Additional Training Facilities – Develop Training

To arrange a site visit and viewing of Training Terrace please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 876 6708 /

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